Wednesday, 5 August 2015

the ninth month

Let's see if I can get every amazing thing down about this baby before she wakes up. Maybe I'll even have time to sort the laundry afterwards.

Emotions and social interaction:
  • I feel like AJ expanded her range of emotions this month and how she expresses them. She gives baby hugs and now kisses too (she puts her mouth on us and blows a raspberry). AJ still does head bumps, which are awesome unless she head bumps your nose. Ouch. 
  • Giggles and belly laughs. She mostly does this at home because she needs to be very relaxed.
  • Communication: Tons of babbling, vocalizations. Not sure if she knows words for things yet. She might know the word for water. Once when we were giving her a bath, she said "wah-wah" and turned the faucet on (it's the kind that you push up). We hear a lot of things that sound like words. It even sounded like she said her name the other day.
  • When AJ is very happy or excited about something, she talks in a whisper voice, that sounds almost like a hiss. We call it "happy hiss." I often hear this as she's reaching for my earrings.
  • AJ insists on being acknowledged and on certain social interactions. Before we leave the room we must give her a cuddle, explain what we are doing, say bye-bye and I'll be back. Or she's very offended. No more plunking her down and rushing off to do something. That's rude!
  • She's more likely to get frustrated if she can't complete a task or if get what she wants: e.g. an object slips out of reach, she can't take something out of a container. Angry cry, flails arms, glares at parent. Before she would just give up and move on to the next thing. However, she still makes judgments about how important things are to her and how much she cares. The toy that's out of reach is worth some effort, but if the effort doesn't pay off quickly, perhaps the ones within reach are a better deal. She may resemble her mother in this regard ;-)
  • AJ expresses definite preferences. She swats away things she doesn't like. She enjoys her baby toys a lot, but she is also interested in adult toys like phones, computers, TV remote. So it's best to keep them out of her way and be aware of how much we are playing with them, if we're not willing to share the fun.
  • Plays peek-a-boo by hiding herself: pulls a blanket over her face, then pulls it away and giggles. She also played with Mr. Turtle the other day by peeking around a corner, pulling back and peeking again. That was too, too cute.
Eating and drinking:
  • I offered AJ big portions of food (slice of beat, entire apricot or peach, big slice of watermelon) to encourage her to pick up food and feed herself. Large pieces seemed to be easier for her to grasp than "finger foods." After a few days she got quite adept with smaller pieces too: peach slice, squished blueberries, watermelon (a favourite) and pear slices. AJ is still hot and cold about feeding herself, however. Sometimes she will happily pick up food, bite and chew like a pro, and other times she completely ignores everything unless we spoon feed her. I think it's mostly a matter of how much she likes it. The effort she puts out is directly proportionate to how much she cares about the result.
  • For several weeks AJ has liked to grab her water glass and spill the water. She enjoys having a puddle of water on her highchair table to splash in. After a few weeks she started acting like she was trying to hold and drink from the glass, however. And this week she was actually able to hold the cup and take a few sips, which was very exciting. She's still working on the technique and spills ten times as much water as she drinks, but it's so fun!
  • I breastfeed about 5-6 times in 24 hours, sometimes more. I try to always offer solid food before breastfeeding now, with the exception of the last feed before she goes to sleep. It doesn't always work out as sometimes AJ is just too tired or fussy to eat solids and it's better to breastfeed first so she's relaxed. After we get back from our little trip to see my parents this month, I will try to wean her to formula during the day. Not sure how that will work out; I guess we'll see. I am not going to attempt to pump; I know I don't have it in me and pumping at school? No, just no.  But I am hoping that I can continue to breastfeed early mornings, evenings and weekends, and at night if AJ insists. I know people who have done this and people who couldn't do it, so I won't know which I am until I try. The thought of stopping breastfeeding makes me sad. I haven't blogged much about breastfeeding, which is mainly because it has worked out really well and there's nothing much to say. So I hope I can continue part time.
The other end:
  • Much less constipation this month, yay! Pooping doesn't seem to be too traumatic anymore. AJ did try to eat some of her poop when she was having naked time the other day. Nooooooooooo that did not just happen.
Large motor:
  • AJ stands and holds herself up. She likes to stand on the couch and look out the window (with us spotting for her of course). I also found a plastic bin that is the perfect height for her to stand by and support herself by pushing down. She sometimes lets go and supports herself with one hand, or tries to take a step. She does not pull up yet.
  • She scoots around on her bottom, although not very far. She reaches in all directions, including behind her, rotates herself, and can touch her nose to her toes. I think she will probably start crawling from this position, well assuming that she crawls at all.
  • Less rolling to her belly this month. Again, I think she figured out that she didn't like rolling to her belly, so why should she bother. She still does it sometimes and I can see that she is getting stronger all the time. 
  • Back crawling: lifting bum off floor, pushing forward with feet. First 2 weeks of the month: she could move about a metre this way.
  • Swim lessons this month. AJ actives relaxed in the pool. She never seemed unhappy or afraid. She wasn't ecstatic about it either, but was open to the experience
Fine motor:
  • AJ's pincer grip is developed. She can do some very delicate things with her fingers now. She loves to untie things. Strings and fringes are her favourites.
  • Sometimes in the middle of doing something she will stop and stare at her hands, as if to say: "Wow, these are cool."
  • When put down sleepy in her crib, will curl up and grab her feet (as if to make sure they don't get away)
  • She starting clapping her hands a bit. But her favourite is to grab our hands and clap them.
  • Varies. She can sleep six hour stretches: awesome! Other nights, she wakes 2-3 times. Usually she goes back to sleep easily but there are exceptions. I honestly don't know what makes the difference, because we have the same routines every day. We haven't ever tried to sleep train, although I will encourage AJ to put herself back to sleep and sometimes she can. I can pretty much tell by the sounds she is making if she will or not. It doesn't really bother me at present, especially since the "bad" nights are not too frequent. But I do wonder how we'll transition when I have to go back to work.
Growth and development:
  • Two bottom teeth visible, on more possibly coming in on the bottom, two top teeth coming in. Hear teeth grinding sometimes. Aaaargh.
  • Torso not growing as fast - AJ wore her 9 month size onesies until she was almost 9 months!! That's a first. Arms and legs grew however: I'm still astonished at how long they look. She's wearing 12 month sizes now. AJ was 17 pounds when we weighed her for her passport application. 
Oh yeah, AJ has now been on the outside as long as she was on the inside. Yay! I don't know the exact number of weeks because I lost track of how many weeks she is at about 20. We are so lucky to be here. When I was pregnant I didn't dare try to imagine myself with a healthy, happy 9 month old. Newborn was as far as I could go. So not only is it better than I imagined, it's completely out of the realm of what I imagined. 

I haven't organized the 9 month pictures yet, so I might add a collage later. Also running out of time here so I'll leave the post-partum update for another time.

Life is beautiful.


  1. What exciting times 9 months seem to be! So much activity and development. I love the "happy hiss" piece-- my best friend's son did that and it went into toddlerhood... he would read a book about different trucks and point at each one but only the firetruck got hissed because it was his favorite. :) I hope the weaning and breastfeeding in the morning, nights, and weekends works out for you! I know people who've pumped at school, and it's just not the best. One of my friends put a construction paper over the test center window as an option, but can you imagine a student walking in? We do have another room, but it's cramped and airless and has a vented door and is off the faculty lounge. Um, no. Good luck to you, and how exciting to be at the edge of so many developmental things!

    1. Thanks. Every month has been exciting, but each month there's a bit more. It is a privilege to hang out with AJ all the time and witness it - I'll miss that for sure, and the relaxed pace of our days. Yeah, I'll breastfeed just about anywhere, but the one place I don't want my boobs out for feeding or pumping is in a high school. I can't even, as the Millenials say. And I know from experience there won't be time, I'll be stressed out, and if recent experience is any indicator, very hard to get sufficient milk anyway. There's always too much to do at school, never enough time, rarely enough personal space: I would just get conflicted, stressed, upset.

  2. Holding her feet so they don't get away! She sounds like the most friendly and fun little person. I would love to hang out with someone like AJ! I hope things continue on their vein and transitioning back to work goes smoothly. Happy nine months!

    1. thank you! I would love to hang out with you and O, too! Ah well....

  3. Overall it sounds like you're having a lot of fun together :)
    Do you think you'll need to introduce formula? I still breastfeed quite frequently, but SB is perfectly okay going for several hours without me or milk - water and solids will do. Kids here start daycare at 10 months and moms don't pump - I don't know if they get formula though. I just had an interview and was gone for 6-7h, and my boobs were clearly more desperate for a feed than SB... As long as she gets nursed mornings, evenings and nights I hope we'll be fine.
    Also, thanks for the reminder about naked time. We had abandoned it as SB used to scratch herself so badly (triggered by a diaper allergy but then continued out of habit, I think) but now she has finally stopped, and her bum could really use some fresh air ;)

    1. Yeah, I've read some views that it's better not to "day wean" and that baby will just adapt to mom being away. That would be ideal, for sure: I guess I'm just not sure that we'll get the best case scenario? AJ is doing very well with solids, but she still seems a bit young to be on only solids; I don't know if she'd get enough nutrition from that. It's one of those things where everybody has a different opinion and experience. I just want AJ to be healthy and hopefully happy. She also likes boobs sometimes as comfort which she won't be getting obviously. My boobs have always adjusted quite well so I think I'll probably be OK on that end. I'm glad to hear things are going quite smoothly for you. I hope the interview went well (I'm a bit behind times here, obviously)

  4. Love this--I'm so looking forward to the milestones I have ahead of me. I love how soft and cuddly newborns are, so I'm trying not to wish the time away, but I'm really, really looking forward to some of these events you describe!

    1. Yes, it's awesome. I couldn't even picture it until AJ reached her milestones. She's still very cuddly and squishy, but there's a bit more of her to love haha.

  5. Happy belated 9 months! It's very interesting to read your observations on communication and social interaction. It's harder for me to pick up on those as they happen more subtly than the physical changes. But I think as you said it before, our daughters are definitely becoming less baby and more of their own personalities. Z also thinks it is quite rude to be plopped down. Glad the bigger pieces of food worked. I look forward to you posting some pictures

    1. I think it depends on the baby, too: AJ is slower to reach some stages (e.g. crawling) but we see such leaps and bounds in other areas. I love seeing their little personalities emerge. There's still lots of baby innocence, of course.